AKRON – Tonia Anne Milhoan, 66, of Akron, passed away peacefully at home on January 1, 2022. She was born in Youngstown, Ohio on March 25, 1955 to Anthony “Tony” and Margaret (Jones) Leone. After attending Cardinal Mooney High School, Tonia earned an Associate’s degree in Early Childhood Education from Youngstown State University. She eventually achieved her life goal of earning a bachelor’s degree in special education from Cleveland State University in 2013. Tonia spent 24 years as a paraprofessional serving students with special needs in schools in the city of Parma, the local schools of independence and the center of educational services of the county of Geauga.
Tonia has always loved the theatre. At a very young age, she participated in the Children’s Theater of Youngstown. As an adult, she was a member of the Geauga Lyric Theater Guild in Chardon, Ohio. It was there, while playing in Dark of the Moon, that she met Bill Milhoan. They played husband and wife. They married on September 15, 2007, and have continued to perform in the Cleveland area, including in a production of The Music Man at the Near West Theater.
Tonia and Bill also shared a love of early music and hiking. Hocking Hills was a favorite getaway. They also shared their home with several dogs and cats, which were like family. Tonia can often be found feeding wildlife outdoors. She also enjoyed browsing flea markets and antique stores. She was proud of her 122-year-old home and was planning its renovation.
Tonia will always be remembered for her ability to connect with children. His students loved him and often called him “Mommy Marshmallow” Where “M”. She was one of a kind and will be truly missed by all who knew her.
Tonia was predeceased by her father, Tony.
She is survived by her loving husband, Bill; mother, margarita “Peggy” Leon; children, Joe Cappello Jr., Tony Cappello, Matt Milhoan and Kay Milhoan; brothers, Paul (Lindia) Leone and Mike (Missy) Leone; many other relatives and friends.
Per Tonia’s wishes, there will be no formal services. His life will be celebrated by his family at a later date.